Published On: Thu, Jul 30th, 2020

Kathie Lee Gifford: Regis Supported Me When Husband Cheated

Kathie Lee Gifford is opening up about her friendship with Regis Philbin, who she says was right there to support and protect her amid the controversy that followed her husband's cheating scandal in 1997.

Gifford revisited the fond memories of her longtime friend and “Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee” co-host in an interview this week with People.

“Everybody talks about the hard times that I went through that were public. And they were hard times. By any definition, they were the most painful times of my life for sure,” she said.

“But I always knew Regis had my back. He always protected me on the air. The Bible says, ‘You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.' I knew my own truth. I was never going to let what the world said about me define me. And he always supported me in all of that.”

The cheating scandal Gifford was referring to devastated Kathie Lee. Her husband Frank was caught having sex with former flight attendant Suzen Johnson, who tipped off a supermarket tabloid and received payment from the magazine.

Gifford is speaking about Philbin following his death on Friday. He was 88 when he passed away after struggling with heart disease. Shortly before his death, Philbin paid a special visit to Gifford.

“We sat right here on my screened porch and we laughed ourselves sick — we always just picked up right where we left off,” she said on Monday on the Today show.

Gifford admitted Philbin looked frail and she could not help but wonder if that would be the last time they saw one another.

“Because he was failing, I could tell,” she said.

Philbin's wife Joy later told Gifford that her husband had not laughed in a long time before that visit and it was one of the last times she heard him laugh before passing away.

“That will forever be a precious gift the Lord gave me, that I got to laugh with him — one of my best friends in all of my lifetime,” Gifford said.

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